That '70s Show actor Danny Masterson charged with three counts of rape in Los Angeles

That '70s Show actor Danny Masterson was charged with rape in three separate alleged cases that occurred nearly two decades ago, Los Angeles officials announced on Wednesday.

A warrant was filed against Masterson on Tuesday for three counts of rape by force in the alleged assault of three different women between 2001 and 2003, according to a release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office.

Masterson, 44, is accused of raping a 23-year-old woman between January and December 2001, and a 28-year-old woman in April of 2003 in his home. A different 23-year-old woman alleges Masterson raped her after inviting her to his Hollywood Hills home sometime between October and December of 2003, the prosecutor's office said.

The women are alleged victims of sexual assault and were not named in the district attorney's release.

The actor faces a possible maximum sentence of 45 years to life in state prison if convicted on all three charges.

Masterson's attorney, Tom Mesereau, insisted in a statement to NBC News that the actor was innocent and that he would be exonerated when "all the evidence comes to light."

"Obviously, Mr. Masterson and his wife are in complete shock considering that these nearly 20-year old allegations are suddenly resulting in charges being filed, but they and their family are comforted knowing that ultimately the truth will come out," Mesereau said. "The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false."

Masterson left the Netflix series "The Ranch" in 2017 after four women accused him of rape, accusations which Masterson denied at the time. The 44-year-old actor starred in "The Ranch" with Ashton Kutcher and was an executive producer for the show.

It is unclear if these allegations are related to the charges announced on Wednesday.

"I am obviously very disappointed in Netflix's decision to write my character off of 'The Ranch.' From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me," Masterson said in a statement given to NBC News in 2017. "Law enforcement investigated these claims more than 15 years ago and determined them to be without merit."

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The accusations against Masterson became public amid the beginning stages of the #MeToo movement, where victims were encouraged to speak out against sexual harassment and misconduct perpetuated by powerful figures.

-This article first appeared on NBC News

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